Rumour Has It: Man Utd boss Ten Hag keen on Chelsea's Ziyech but faces resistance

By Sports Desk August 13, 2022

Manchester United's transfer market activity appears to be getting increasingly desperate.

The English giants have added only Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez to their first team in this window.

United have been linked with a host of other players but missed out, including Benjamin Sesko, while no deal has transpired despite their attempts to sign Frenkie de Jong.

TOP STORY – MAN UTD BOSS TEN HAG KEEN ON ZIYECH

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has identified Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech as a target, according to the Manchester Evening News.

However, United's hierarchy are not convinced and have offered resistance to the Dutchman's plans to sign the Moroccan, whom he worked with previously at Ajax.

United have been priced out of their move for Ajax's Antony, and Ten Hag views Ziyech as a good alternative.

ROUND-UP

– SPORT1 claims Bayern Munich will attempt to bring Kai Havertz to the club from Chelsea. The Germany international, who moved to Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen two years ago, is seen as someone who can offset Robert Lewandowski's departure.

– Juventus are still keen on Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Leandro Paredes, according to Fabrizio Romano. The Bianconeri are ready to swoop once Adrien Rabiot's move to Manchester United is sealed.

– The Athletic reports Newcastle United may target Chelsea's United States international Christian Pulisic.

– West Ham have entered the race for Barcelona's Memphis Depay, submitting a "big-money" offer to the Blaugrana, according to Football Insider.

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  • Argentina 3-0 Jamaica: Super sub Messi nets brace to extend unbeaten streak to 35 matches Argentina 3-0 Jamaica: Super sub Messi nets brace to extend unbeaten streak to 35 matches

    Argentina were never in any danger during their 3-0 friendly win against Jamaica on Tuesday, played at a neutral site in the United States' Red Bull Arena.

    Alvarez opened the scoring in the 13th minute thanks to some terrific work from Lautaro Martinez, who was able to snake his way into the box, beating multiple defenders to get to the touchline and drag one back along the edge of the six-yard box for a simple tap-in.

    Argentina continued to create half-chances throughout the remainder of the first half, and it was more of the same to begin the second 45, with Martinez going close after a slick one-touch pass from Alexis Mac Allister gave him some space inside the box, but he pushed his shot wide of the far-post.

    Lionel Messi was subbed on in the 56th minute, and just 10 minutes later he had his first chance after a one-two on the edge of the area allowed him to break into the left-hand side of the box, but his shot from a sharp angle was easily thwarted at the near post.

    But fans in attendance would get what they came for in the 87th minute, when Messi picked up a deflected pass just outside the penalty area and fired his left-foot shot hard and low across his body into the bottom-right corner.

    Just two minutes later Argentina were awarded a free kick in the same spot, and Messi again converted, this time around the wall into the bottom-left corner.

    What does it mean? Argentina now two games away from history

    With this result, Argentina are now unbeaten in their past 35 games dating back to their loss in the 2019 Copa America semi-final against Brazil. 

    Italy holds the record at 37 games without a loss – which they set just last year. Argentina's next two games will be in the World Cup against Saudi Arabia and Mexico, and if they make it through unscathed, they will play Poland for the new record.

    Messi the super sub

    Despite only playing 35 minutes, Messi led all players with five shots, four shots on target and three successful dribbles. Only Alvarez (three) created more chances than Messi's two, and he scored two goals for his second consecutive international fixture after also netting a double against Honduras this past weekend.

    Reid struggles with Argentinian physicality

    Bobby Reid had a difficult outing down the left-hand side, being credited with only two duels won from 11 tries – the lowest percentage on the pitch. He also had a passing accuracy of 77 per cent, which was one of the lowest marks from either side, while attempting no shots and creating no chances.

    What's next? 

    Argentina will take their unbeaten streak into the World Cup, where they will play Saudi Arabia first up. Jamaica do not have any fixtures scheduled until March's CONCACAF Nations League.

  • 'We just need to put things together' - Bailey, Antonio start for Reggae Boyz against Argentina 'We just need to put things together' - Bailey, Antonio start for Reggae Boyz against Argentina

     Jamaica Reggae Boy forward Leon Bailey is convinced the unit can produce plenty of quality once they get things right, but admittedly expects a tough outing against Argentina.

    The Jamaicans will clash with Argentina, at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, for only the fourth time in the team’s history and the debut outing for new head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson, who officially took over the post last week.

    The Reggae Boyz have lost all three previous encounters but performed creditably in the team’s last meeting at the 2015 Copa America Centenario, where they narrowly lost 1-0 to the Lionel Messi-led outfit.  Bailey is looking forward to his first taste of the high-profile fixture.

    “There are a lot of quality players in the team, we just need to put together, obviously it’s a system that the coach will be improvising but we should be able to do good things and hopefully come away with a result,” Bailey said.

    “It’s going to be a good game, the first game for the manager as well, but it should be exciting for everybody playing against a good opponent and I think we just have to be focused and work hard for the whole game.”

    Reggae Boyz starting line-up

    Andre Blake

    Leon Bailey

    Daniel Johnson

    Ravel Morrison

    Shamar Nicholson

    Bobby Reid

    Damion Lowe

    Michael Antonio

    Adrian Mariappa

    Javain Brown

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  • Pulisic 'not panicked' by United States form ahead of World Cup Pulisic 'not panicked' by United States form ahead of World Cup

    Christian Pulisic is "not panicked" about the United States' form ahead of the World Cup despite a winless international break.

    In the USA's final warm-up games for Qatar 2022, a poor 2-0 loss to Japan in Dusseldorf was followed by a limp goalless draw with Saudi Arabia in Murcia on Tuesday.

    It means Gregg Berhalter's side will go into the finals with just one victory in their past five matches.

    With Gio Reyna also suffering an injury scare against Saudi Arabia, this was not a successful camp for the United States.

    But captain Pulisic pushed back on concerns around the team's performances, even if he acknowledged the need for improvement in the final third.

    "We had a pretty good first half," the Chelsea forward stated. "I think we had a couple of half-chances where we created some things.

    "But I felt like we lost it a bit at the start of the second half, and they got a little bit of rhythm. We have to do more to figure out what we are going to do to create chances at the end of the day.

    "There are definitely some positives to take from the game, and a clean sheet is always good. I'm not panicked at all.

    "We have a fresh slate going into the World Cup, and we're going to give it everything that we have."

    The USA play Wales, England and Iran in Group B in Qatar.

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